Van driver caught with 200,000 counterfeit cigarettes

A mechanic who was caught red-handed with 200,000 counterfeit cigarettes has been jailed for 12 months for evading £64,000 of excise duty.

Baktiar Ali Mahmood, 44, of Curzon Street, Wolverhampton, was caught with the counterfeit cigarettes when he was stopped by police officers driving a van without an MOT, HM Revenue & Customs revealed.

Mahmood, a car body repairer, had boxes filled with counterfeit Richmond cigarettes in the back of his Transit van when he was stopped by police on the A460, in Westcroft. He also had business cards and leaflets advertising sales of cigarettes.

The cigarettes, which have since been confirmed as counterfeit, were inside cardboard boxes marked ‘paper towel’ in Polish. Mahmood was convicted of trying to evade £64,000 of duty and sentenced to 12 months prison at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday.

Information about any type of tax fraud can be reported to HMRC online.


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